• ACAW 2023, Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop, ZGF Architects, Facade Design

9th Annual Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop – August 12-15, 2024

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Register to watch the virtual presentation on Zoom or request to attend in-person.

ACAW is a hands-on research and development workshop for architects and facade engineers to explore the use of terra cotta in high-performance facade design.

Presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta with CMU School of Architecture and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW) brings together professionals from the architectural industry and academia, offering participants the opportunity to explore innovative building solutions and further their understanding of architectural terra cotta for large-scale assemblies. Now in its eighth year, research and experimentation at past ACAWorkshops have culminated into real-world projects currently in development.


The workshop aims to encourage the use of terra cotta early in the architect’s design process. This allows for the efficient production of high-performance facade solutions. Through pre-design and prototype research and development, teams explore innovative digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies, the development of unitized façade systems, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta (through-body color, finish and glaze) can inform and enhance a façade’s performance.

To learn more about past workshops we encourage you to purchase the Bioclimatic Ceramic Assemblies I and II books which dive deep into the behind the scenes of ACAW. Looking for a brief synopsis of our previous workshops? Check out the News section, Past Workshops pages, and Team Presentations page.

View the ACAW 2023 team presentations.


John Krouse

Chairman of the Board & Founder,
Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Andrew Pries

Technical Sales Director,
Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Gregory Borowiak

Conference Coordinator,
Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Omar Khan

Professor and Head,
School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University

Sanjeev Tankha, AIA

STARQ Design Inc.

Mic Patterson

Ambassador of Innovation and Collaboration,
Façade Tectonics Institute

Andy Brayman

Glaze Texture Specialist, Ceramic Artist,
Matter Factory


The months that we’ve worked together with [Boston Valley Terra Cotta] have been just amazing in terms of just the depth of knowledge and experience with the material. It was a great collaboration… being here and seeing the material in hand and see how it’s reacting to all the things that we’ve been doing with it has opened our eyes to the kind of natural and unexpected qualities of terra cotta, and it’s gotten us really excited about the next steps of how we might develop the project.

Arthur Chang
Principal – NADAAA

ACAW really is a moment where we said, “Could there be a residency for professional practices?” We then started to construct ACAW around that [question], and the solution has been pretty great. We ask for a commitment from a practicing architect for some of their people to commit to a 6-month design period. Then they come here and it’s only a week they have to put out in terms of all being together, and then we assemble all of their designs within about 3 days. And that’s what ACAW’s little formula is, and it works magically.

Omar Khan
ACAW Organizer
Professor and Head, School of Architecture – Carnegie Mellon University

In an action-packed week, the ACAW provides invaluable hands-on experience working with clay, terra cotta, glazes, ceramic arts, and architecture’s best contemporary practitioners. Regardless of your level of experience upon arrival, at the end of the week you will be further inspired and more deeply acknowledgeable of ceramics and their architectural possibilities.

Craig Copeland
Partner – Pelli Clarke & Partners

Watch the video below to learn more:

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